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Earth Day Not
Just for the Secular;
Churches Focus on God's Sacred Creation
Washington, D.C., April 21, 2005 -- Even as the Congress takes up the debate on the environment again this week, congregations across the country will be making final preparations to focus on God's sacred oceans and seas in Earth Day Sunday celebrations on April 24. Once celebrated only in the secular arena, Earth Day is now being embraced by a wide range of Christian congregations from across the nation.
Typically observed on the Sunday closest to Earth Day, congregations such as Towson Presbyterian Church in Towson, Md., have received resource materials from the National Council of Churches USA to celebrate God's creation. This year, churches have been asked to focus on environmental stewardship and the importance of protecting God's sacred oceans and seas.
Towson Presbyterian Church has been celebrating God's creation all month long. According to Susan Thompson, director of Christian Education, the church has participated in numerous activities including special readings, presentations and "Project Clean Stream." Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, this activity included many of the church's youth and will have a positive impact on ocean life.
"God created the earth and we intend to celebrate the beauty of God's creation," said Charlie Conklin, a lay leader and chair of the church's environmental ministry program.
According to Cassandra Carmichael, director of NCC eco-justice programs, "Oceans are an essential part of God's creation. We rely on oceans for food and nourishment, for temperature regulation, and for a variety of life-giving gifts," she says, "Yet human practices such as pollution, coastal development and depleting the ocean's fish populations more quickly than they can reproduce, are putting God's oceans in jeopardy."
"We hope this year's focus on oceans and seas will help change this dangerous trend," Carmichael said.
More than 2,000 congregations will celebrate Earth Day this year with special worship experiences, education programs, and other environmental activities. For more information on Earth Day Sunday or for a copy of the resource materials, visit: www.nccecojustice.org or contact Cassandra Carmichael, NCC Director for Eco-Justice Programs, (202) 544-2350 (ext. 27), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Leslie Tune, NCC News, (202) 544-2350
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